THE LONG NIGHT : WILLIAM L. SHIRER AND THE RISE AND FALL OF THE THIRD REICH
It's still known as "The Big Book" (over 1,000 pages) and when it was published in 1960 one million copies were sold. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich would become William L. Shirer's one true masterpiece and it would sustain him, financially, for the rest of his life. (He wrote it because he had no solid employment and needed money, badly.) The way Shirer envisioned it, nobody else could could produce such a monumental tome on the Nazis' rise to power and then their ultimate defeat. He lived it, in Berlin, for six years broadcasting all of the important events working for CBS news.
Shirer would never have imagined that one day he would become the first American reporter giving eyewitness accounts of the German Army's conquests in Austria (the annexation), France (the armistice), and anything else that showed Germany's superiority. People all over the world listened to the broadcasts. What Shirer read, though, was not what what he had originally planned to say. He would write up a script and the censors would cross out just about everything. Shirer wanted to speak the truth but instead most of what came out of his mouth were lies: sheer propaganda. It drove him crazy. Fortunately, he was able to document anything that he heard either from officials or other foreign correspondents via letters and journals. He kept a diary in which he laid out his true feelings (most of this would be used in his master work).
In The Long Night Steve Wick was able to recreate William Shirer's incredible experience by using his collection of papers held at the library of Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa ( Shirer's alma mater). The book is both an eye-opener and a page-turner.